COLUMBUS, Ohio — JUNE 15: State Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, speaks during the Ohio Senate session, June 15, 2023, at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal)

Resolution comes after Ohio Attorney General joins lawsuit against the move

BY:  Ohio Capital Journal

A recently offered resolution in the Ohio Senate urges the federal government to keep sexual orientation and gender identification out of anti-discrimination rules used in education funding.

State Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, brought forth the resolution, Senate Concurrent Resolution 11, on Tuesday, asking the United States Department of Education to “exclude sexual orientation and gender identity from Title IX,” according to the resolution language.

Title IX is a 1970’s-era law that prohibits gender discrimination in education where federal funding is received. New changes would add the LGBTQ+ supports based on gender identity and sexual orientation, along with harassment protections for pregnant students and students with children. The changes were released by the DOE in April, and would take effect in August.

Brenner’s resolution states that, if passed, the 135th General Assembly in Ohio “find that this broad expansion of Title IX is damaging to all women’s sports,” and urges the U.S. DOE to “remove all references to sexual orientation and gender identity” from the law.

It also asks that Congress and President Joe Biden amend the law “to specify that ‘sex’ does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.”

A resolution is merely a request of the legislature, not a law or enforceable duty. But the resolution furthers messages from the Republican side of the General Assembly against transgender and other LGBTQ+ issues.

Bills currently under consideration in the Ohio Legislature related to transgender issues include House Bill 183, which would keep transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms assigned to their gender identity, and House Bill 8, which requires public schools to tell parents about sexuality content in class materials and allow alternatives to the content. HB 8 would also require school districts to notify parents about a student’s sexuality in a mandatory disclosure clause.

HB 183 was voted out of its committee recently, and HB 8 has already passed the House, with hearings continuing in the Senate Education Committee.

The General Assembly already passed House Bill 68, banning gender-affirming care for minors and keeping transgender students from playing on sports teams that fit with their gender identity.

Enforcement of HB 68 has been temporarily put on hold by a Franklin County judge as a lawsuit against the law works its way through the common pleas court.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asked the Ohio Supreme Court to lift the temporary pause in enforcement of the law in a late-April filing, saying “one judge from one county does not have more power than the governor’s veto pen.”

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed the bill, but his veto was overridden by legislators.

Yost has taken a state stance when it comes to Title IX as well. Before the new proposed resolution came about, the attorney general joined a lawsuit against changes to the Title IX language, announced at the end of April by Yost’s office.

He represents the state of Ohio in the suit led by Tennessee, and also joined by leaders in Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia against the U.S. DOE and the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona.

As part of the lawsuit, Yost argues the final Title IX rule with inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity would “preempt Ohio laws governing athletics … causing irreparable harm to the State of Ohio’s sovereign lawmaking authority,” citing laws that provide separate teams for males and females.

The suit states that Ohio received more than $5.2 billion in federal funding in 2023, and “expects to receive additional funds of equal or greater amount in future fiscal years.”

Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.


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